My name is Cecilia Anna Thoden van Velzen. Those are five words and twenty-six letters. Three of those words are my surname. I was born in The Netherlands on 20th of July 1999 and I was born a dreamer. And so, I write, I act, I direct, I perform, I craft, I compose, I sing, I paint, I scratch, I scrape; I am a storyteller.

Currently, I am halfway through my drama school studies at Toneelacademie Maastricht. Besides theatre, performance and film, I also immerce myself in visual arts, music and writing.


ABOUT MY WORK

Everything I create relates to human nature, to our manner and instincts, to how we relate to ourselves and to each other. Good and evil are both ideals, neither of them realities, but the thoughts and feelings they represent are true. To see how and why people make their decisions, fascinates me immensely. To see what drives someone to be who they are, is the essence of my work.

In contents, my work is of a classical nature, with existential questions and themes at its core. It is always grand, greater than you could envision on a stage or in a shot. Ideally, the worlds I create flourish best in the endless imagination of the audience. In form and execution, I aim to explore all sorts of possibilities within the performative spectrum, with an emphasis on the sensory. That sensibility can be found in smell, in colour, in materials, in sound, in sight and in image. To me, it makes a story tangible and therefore inescapable. Music is of great importance in my creation progress and in the actual works itself. Everything I create originated in a score, in poetry and melody. That means that I also direct by listening. When the music of the language, of the movement, of the whole, is played, it is a direct path to the soul. In addition, my work is often socially political, without it being pushy or in your face. I’d rather ask questions than answer them.

ABOUT WHY I WORK

Sapere aude. Kant wrote it once and it means as much as “dare to know, dare to think.” And in that phrase he caught some important things: the dare, the courage, the power within, and the knowing, the thinking, the thinking for yourself. Each of them, themes that can be found in what I create. And each of them themes that I believe we as human beings are starting to forget.

We live and breathe in a society that hoards information and rewards us with an average focus that lasts no longer than three seconds. In a time in which social media replaces genuine conversation and hashtags shape our emotions; a time in which we keep getting stuck in traffic, yet still forget to look outside. We are lost. Disconnected. Chased away from our truth. Morality has been neglected. And we like it that way. We’ll watch some series, and we’ll game or we’ll drink. We go to work, we do our shopping. We remain quiet because we have forgotten how to speak. We hesitate because we do not dare to make decisions. And so, life passes us by as if it were never lived. Where is our authenticity? Our courage? And our truth?

Stories are the answer. They are told to enrich us, to knock us off our pedestal and to make us doubt. They can bring us back to reality, to truly feel, to dare and to think. And that is why I strive to rebuild and strengthen the connection between man and myth, to give life itself more beauty and worth.